Men vs. Women: Who Moves on Quicker After a Divorce?

woman unhappy with her marriage

Between 40 to 50 percent of marriages end in divorce these days, but who's calling it quits -- and how they feel about that -- might surprise you.


While the idea of divorce may make you go "Aw! That's too bad!" you can rethink the pity.

According to a national relationship study conducted by Avvo, a consumer legal services marketplace, 73 percent of women tend to move on from a failed marriage with NO regrets. (As opposed to just 61 percent of men.)

And a full 75 percent of women would rather be SINGLE, successful, and happy than miserable in a marriage. But only 58 percent of men felt the same way.

Is it possible (GASP!) that men are more dependent on marriage -- and we women want it less -- than popular opinion would have us believe?

Pepper Schwartz, PhD, a noted sexologist and professor of sociology at the University of Washington, says yes.

"Men are more fearful of being on their own once they've been domesticated by marriage, and even though men are more likely to think that marriage is an outdated institution, they're more likely to want to stay put even if things aren't so great," says Schwartz.

(We love that use of the word "domesticated." As if they're cats!)

More from CafeMom: 10 Surprising Traits That Make Couples More Likely to Divorce (PHOTOS)

Women, on the other hand, prize happiness over marriage. And we're generally less scared of independence than pretty much every rom-com on the planet would have you believe.

This is all good news, for sure. But when asked who was to blame for their marriage not working out, women were also FAR more likely to point fingers at their ex rather than admit that they were both likely at fault. A snapshot of the stats: 64 percent of women were all like, "His fault!" And only 29 percent wanted to help shoulder the blame.

Although that attitude's kinda a bummer -- come on, ladies! Your partner didn't walk down the aisle alone! -- what it reflects about our changing attitudes regarding marriage is pretty cool.

"Women have a much higher bar now as to what it takes to stay in a relationship," explains Schwartz. "The tone of relationship trumps marriage."

In other words, we don't just want a husband who doesn't cheat. We want a best friend. "We have high expectations that a marriage is not just a highly functioning machine," says Schwartz, "but a relationship that's romantic."

So there's a pretty good chance that if you're not feeling it, you'll bail.

Nothing wrong with that, of course, but you DO need to make sure you're not giving up too fast. Divorcing your partner is not like, say, firing your sitter.

"Get counseling. Go into therapy and get a third party opinion," says Schwartz. "It's not fair to say nothing's wrong, then call it quits."

Get as much insight as possible into whether your relationship can be repaired or you really should leave it. Either way, "hold yourself accountable for your role in it," says Schwartz.

You know, take those lemons and make some lemonade.



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